Sabrina V. Helm, Ph.D.

Petsmart Associate Professor
Retailing and Consumer Science
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-7130

Working as a faculty member at the Norton School, I am responsible for providing a first-class learning experience for my undergraduate as well as my graduate students. When I came to Arizona from my home country, Germany, in 2008, I encountered vast differences in the educational systems that translate into differing expectations, achievements and desires of students, faculty and society. Living and working here, as well as profiting from UA’s constructive environment, is a great learning experience for me. My experiences provide me with an opportunity to reflect on, adapt to and shape this new environment I find myself in. This might also explain the characteristics I greatly value in my students: creativity, determination, a penchant for critical reflection and a positive attitude toward change.

I believe that we all can and should make a difference–by actions, not proclamations. As a researcher, it is humbling to realize how little difference we actually make with most of our projects and publications, aiming at a selected few reviewers and readers. However, we can achieve significantly more if we try to focus on what our expertise and curiosity can do for the society that we are an integral part of. I strongly believe that research is critical for a flourishing society and economy and that education is one of the most important values a government and its citizens need to uphold.

My favorite pastime is hiking Arizona’s mountains and canyons. I love hiking R2R (rim-to-rim) in a day. But I also like to pause and enjoy the beauty of this land—beauty that lies within its biggest features, such as the rugged “GC” but also within its smallest inhabitants, such as wildflowers and birds. Arizona is home to 18 species of hummingbirds. They are magnificent creatures: cute and pretty; fierce and resilient; a humbling wonder of “natural technology." Getting “buzzed” by one of these tiny skyrockets in my backyard makes my day.

Areas of Expertise

Marketing and climate change

Climate change and overconsumption

Sustainable consumption

Psychological effects of climate change

Corporate reputation management

Word-of-mouth and referral management

Research Focus

I conduct research in several main areas, but currently I am most interested in the role of marketers, consumers, and overconsumption in the context of climate change. My academic background is traditional marketing, but I started working in the area of sustainbility and consumer behavior upon coming to Arizona, and this research interest is now the primary focus of my work. I believe this a relevant and very worthwhile research endeavor because we live in a time and age where consumers and corporations need to take charge and cannot wait for government to change the way we live and consume. If we do not radically change our consumption patterns, life as we know it will likely cease to exist: what a drastic statement, and what a fantastic challenge for research!

Current Projects

  • Principal Investigator, Incentivized Referrals. Collaborators: Ina Garnefeld, Ann-Kathrin Groetschel.
  • Principal Investigator, Macromarketing and Climate Change. Collaborators: Vicki Little, Joya Kemper.
  • Principal Investigator, Eco-coping strategies. Collaborators: Melissa Curran, Melissa Barnett, Xiaomin Li.

Subjects Taught

  • Consumer Behavior in Retailing (undergraduate)
  • Sustainable Consumption & Retailing (undergraduate)
  • Consumer Research & Insights (undergraduate)

Select Publications

Helm, S.V., Serido, J., Ahn, S., Ligon, V., & Shim, S. (2019). Materialist Values, Financial and Pro-Environmental Behaviors, and Well-Being. Young Consumers (in press).

Helm, S., & Subramaniam, B. (2019). Exploring Socio-Cognitive Mindfulness in the Context of Sustainable Consumption. Sustainability, 11(13), 3692.

Helm, S., Kim, S. H., & Van Riper, S. (2018). Navigating the ‘retail apocalypse’: A framework of consumer evaluations of the new retail landscape. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services,

Helm, S.V., Ligon, V., Stovall, T., & Van Riper, S. (2018). Consumer Interpretations of Digital Ownership in the Book Market. Electronic Markets, 28(2), 177-189.

Helm, S. V., Pollitt, A., Barnett, M. A., Curran, M. A., & Craig, Z. R. (2018). Differentiating environmental concern in the context of psychological adaption to climate change. Global Environmental Change. 48, 158-167.

Helm, S.V., Renk, Uwe & Mishra, A. (2016). Exploring the Impact of Employees’ Self-Concept, Brand Identification and Brand Pride on Brand Citizenship Behaviors. European Journal of Marketing. 50, 58-77.

Helm, S.V., & Oezergin, B. (2015). Service Inside: The Impact of Ingredient Service Branding on Quality Perceptions and Behavioral Intentions. Industrial Marketing Management. 50, 142-149.

Garnefeld, I., Eggert, A., Helm, S.V., & Tax, S. (2013). Growing Existing Customers’ Revenue Streams through Customer Referral Programs. Journal of Marketing. 77, 17-32.

Please contact Dr. Sabrina Helm if you are unable to locate any of the publications listed in the separat document.

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